Get a Makeover with Special Effects Makeup

It's been a while since I’ve written about the courses I’ve been taking, electives in particular. This fall semester, I’ve found a class that is creatively challenging and seems to cover certain skills that would be useful amongst artists and filmmakers alike. For this blog, I’m going to be covering the DVA234 course, otherwise known as Special Effects and Character Makeup.


Ben Nye 3-D effects kit

 Already from the beginning, students are presented with kits that hold the most fundamental makeup supplies from foundation to latex. Now don’t worry, the professor ensures that students are not allergic to each of the supplies. If someone is, they will find an alternative means of approaching objectives. But other than that, the course emphasizes getting familiar with your classmates since you won’t be applying the makeup to yourself. You’ll be applying them to partners who will serve as models of your work, FaceOff style!

SYFY Face Off

 So, if you feel like the type who is shy and may be has trouble talking to others, this course will eliminate that awkward tension since everyone is in the same boat as you. And if you happen to be the type of person who is used to applying makeup to themselves, time to get used to putting it on someone else! Besides, it’s a great way to show off whatever skills you have. And even if it’s your first time using makeup (like it is for me), there’s no need to feel embarrassed. If anything, you’ll be celebrated for exploring new territory.

Exploring new territory

 Now, you might be interested in the course but you want a head start by knowing what kind of things you’ll be doing. Though I’d be happy to oblige, I only know what we’ve done and the very next thing. So, I do not think there’s a theme to what we cover. However, everyone’s first assignment was to try their best to emulate a werewolf design with their makeup. Yep, make your partner look canine with any real way of “molding” their face.


 At first, it seems like daunting task. But, once you think from a point of perspective (or rather, the power of perspective), you’ll come to realize just how well we can fool our own eyes. It’s a feeling that is often unmatched when you succeed in pulling something like that off.

Line drawing face

 The next assignment is going to be creating a “rotting flesh” effect, meaning it’s time to get nasty. How we do it is again, like the rest of the course, is entirely up to us. However, there is one rule I should mention that is important for anyone in that course: You cannot use fake blood. That’s right, you absolutely cannot use the one packet of fake blood. Any kind of blood or bleeding effects you must find another way to do so. Other than that, everything goes!

Sometimes the class even gets to go on field trips. In the past, they have brought their SFX makeup skills to the Renaissance Festival and Arizona Science Center!

Anything Goes

 I have a few ideas on what I’m going to do, but I am most definitely going to have fun doing it regardless. Plus, I can see why others would take this course. It emphasizes creativity, research and letting loose. Not many courses that I can think of would match those descriptions. So if you feel like getting a makeover or pulling off some special effects (the non-digital kind), check out DVA234.

If you like the SFX makeup course, then check out our Digital Video program!

Posted on Oct 22, 2018 12:47:19 PM by Jordan Leong

Jordan Leong

Written by Jordan Leong

Studying Game Design at UAT.


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